Schools in Wales are on the right track, but "there's still more to do", education minister Kirsty Williams has said, following the release of a study of global education trends.

While Wales has seen an improvement in its in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, it still ranks below the other three nations of the UK.

The latest report released today shows the number of high-performing students in reading rose from three per cent in 2015 to seven per cent in 2018, with a four per cent to seven per cent increase in maths and a four per cent to five per cent increase in science - which is now close to the national average.

PISA tests are taken every three years by a sample of 15-years-olds in 79 countries and regions. Altogether, 3,165 pupils from 107 schools across Wales took the tests.

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In reading, Wales scored 483 - ranking just behind Austria and Switzerland but ahead of nations including Latvia, Italy, Croatia and Lithuania.

It is also the highest average score since Wales started doing the tests in 2006.

However, 44 per cent of pupils in Wales rarely or never read books compared with 35 per cent on average.

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In science, Wales is now very close to the international average with 488. The country ranked above Latvia and Spain and just behind Austria and Portugal.

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The Maths figures also saw Wales approaching the national average of 489 with a score of 487.

Wales’ minister for education, Kirsty Williams, today welcomed the nation’s significant improvement in PISA.

She said: “For the first time ever, Wales is in the international mainstream, thanks to the efforts of our teachers and students.

“We have caught up, we are continuing to improve in all areas and as a nation we must be determined to keep up this momentum.

“This is positive for teachers, parents and students and the nation as a whole, but not perfect.

“We can go further still.”

Within the UK, England was the highest achiever in all three subjects.

Wales remained the lowest performing, with Scotland better than Northern Ireland at reading and Northern Ireland outperforming Scotland at maths and science.

Ms Williams added: “Our increase in high-performers is a big step forward. But there’s still more to do, as we’re not quite at the OECD average for this aspect yet.

“That’s why we are delivering the biggest ever investment in our teachers, have developed the biggest ever professional learning programme and are striding ahead with our new curriculum.”